Learn to make anything.
Mechanical engineering is essential to the design and manufacture of nearly every product in our modern world. From your first project on the CNC mill in the Computer-Aided Manufacturing and Prototyping Lab to the possibility of designing thermofluid systems for effective energy use in the Microscale Heat Transfer Laboratory or expanding the capabilities of our NASA satellites and seafaring submersibles, you’ll have significant opportunities to put concept into practice, often working at the leading edge of the field.
Whether you get your B.S., Master's, or Ph.D in the department, you’ll develop your creative and technical skills from faculty members who’ve worked for industry giants and have received millions in support of their research.
We train our students to think across disciplines, while also solving very specialized problems. You’ll be prepared to work in research and development, product design, or materials engineering at top firms in and beyond the Bay Area.
News & Announcements: 2019-2020
The Robotic Systems Lab (RSL) directed by Dr. Christopher Kitts (Professor, Mechanical Engineering) has received a new grant installment of $189,000 through WyleLaboratories, Inc. for their work on a new NASA Ames Research Center solar sail
spacecraft. RSL is developing the mission control and ground communication systems for operating the satellite and running the technology demonstration experiment. RSL students will serve as the mission control team once the satellite is launched. RSL
performed similar duties in 2010 for NASA's first solar sail spacecraft to ever be flown, NanoSail-DII, built by NASA Ames and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
Dr. On Shun Pak (Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering) received a $251K National Science Foundation (NSF) award as Principle Investigator to study propulsion of synthetic swimmers in complex (non-Newtonian) fluids. Synthetic swimmers are engineered microscopic or nanoscopic objects that can swim like natural microorganisms in biological fluids. Such capability shows great promise in biomedical applications including drug delivery and microsurgery. This research project aims to develop a fundamental understanding of how complex rheological behaviors of biological fluids (e.g., blood and mucus) affect the propulsion performance of synthetic swimmers. The combined theoretical and experimental investigation, in collaboration with Dr. Wei Gao (Caltech) through another NSF award to Caltech, will enable the development of micro-robots with robust swimming capabilities for next-generation healthcare applications.
Dr. Hohyun Lee (Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering) and his Ph.D. student Chenli Wang received the best paper award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Mechanical Engineering Conference and Exposition (IMECE 2018): C. Wang, and H. Lee, “Economical and Non-Invasive Residential Human Presence Sensing via Temperature Measurement.”
Dr. Drazen Fabris (Chair and Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering), Dr. Robert Kleinhenz (Applied Mathematics), and Dr. Maria Pantoja (Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo) won the best paper award with their paper, "Adding Probabilistic Certainty to Improve
Performance of Convolutional Neural Networks”, in the Bio-Inspired Processing track at the Latin American High-Performance Computing Conference ( CARLA2019 ) held Sept. 25-27 at the University of Costa Rica, Turrialba, CR.
Dr. Hohyun Lee (Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering) and Dr. Yuhong Liu (Assistant Professor, Computer Science and Engineering) have received a $40,000 award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for their project to develop a learning model to determine occupancy information in a residential building from multiple economic sensors, with the goal of minimizing unnecessary operation of energy systems in residential buildings. The 2009 Solar Decathlon House has been utilized as a living lab for the project.
News & Announcements: 2018-2019
Senior Design Conference
- Mechanical Engineering Session 1: “Power-Assist Wheelchair Attachment” by Ryan Boyce, Rosemary Cole, Matthew Marks, Catherine van Blommestein (Advised by Dr. Robert Marks, Dr. Gaetano Restivo)
- Mechanical Engineering Session 2: “Portable Thermoelectric Cooler” by Barry Bishop, Bernardo Quevedo, Michael Tuttle (Advised by Dr. Hohyun Lee)
- Mechanical Engineering Session 3: “Romaine Robotics: Automatic Lettuce Trimmer” by Jonathan Borst, Chuck Culberson, Andrew Torrance (Advised by Dr. Christopher Kitts)
- Interdisciplinary Session 1: “Shearwater Project" by Alex Cherekdjian, Kayleigh Dobson, Trevor Liu, PJ McCurdy, Vinny Sicat (Advised by Dr. Christopher Kitts, Dr. Sally Wood)
- Interdisciplinary Session 2: "AutoDraft" by Matthew Belford, Keith Dorais, William McCullen (Advised by Dr. Jessica Kuczenski, Dr. Walter Yuen)
- Interdisciplinary Session 3: "Human-centered Electric Prosthetic (HELP) Hand" by Jamie Ferris, Shiyin Lim, Michael Mehta, Evan Misuraca (Advised by Dr. Prashanth Asuri, Dr. Christopher Kitts)
Engineering a Helping Hand
Jamie Ferris '19, along with fellow undergraduates and graduate students, is developing the HELP Hand, a Human-centered Electric Prosthetic to be manufactured in India and given free of charge to those in need by the Jaipur Foot Foundation. See more here.
Getting “WeighstEd” for the Good of SCU
Mechanical engineering seniors Vince Heyman, Timothy Jaworski and Tatianna Schleup are helping SCU reach its goal of a ten percent reduction in food waste by 2020 by creating a standalone device for weighing food waste. In collaboration with SCU’s Center for Sustainability, the team iterated their design that will be installed in the campus dining hall. See more here.
Pi Tau Sigma Induction
Eleven MECH undergraduate students were inducted to Pi Tau Sigma, the National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, in March 2019.
Congratulations! Pi Tau Sigma members with the inductees (*):
Back Row: Evan Misuraca, PJ McCurdy, Andrew Torrance, Brent Hosoume, Jack Margolis*, Garrett Nelson*, Tioga Benner*
Middle Row: Chuck Culberson, Jonathan Borst, Kayleigh Dobson, Jamie Ferris (President), Darran Casey*, Miguel Asturias*, Kaleb Pattawi*, Evan Josa*
Front Row: Riley Albright-Borden, Hannah Sisney, James Reimer*, Lavelle Simmons*, Brandon van Gogh, Anand Rajamani
Dr. Christopher Kitts
Dr. Chris Kitts (mechanical engineering) received a $272K National Science Foundation (NSF) award to support development, fabrication, and use of a high temperature water sampling system for supporting "limits of life on Earth" studies at temperatures in the range of 100-200 degrees celsius. Because of challenges of using electronics at such elevated temperatures, a purely mechanical actuation technique using a new blend of shape memory allow material is being developed. The samplers will be deployed in narrow ocean floor boreholes at total depths on the order of 4,000 m or more. Kitts' award through SCU is complemented by a ~$150K NSF award to Kitts' scientific collaborator at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and approval of a ~$6M multi-day ocean mission in the Pacific Ocean as part of the International Ocean Drilling Program.
Dr. On Shun Pak
Dr. On Shun Pak (mechanical engineering) has received $338K in funding as a Co-Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded collaborative project between the University of Utah (the lead institution), University of Minnesota, and Santa Clara University. The vision of this project is to extend the capabilities of clinicians by enabling minimally invasive access to locations in the human body that are currently difficult or impossible to reach, using a new class of magneto-electroactive soft, continuum, compliant, and configurable (MESo-C3) mesoscale robotic devices that will travel along the natural pathways of the human body for a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
News & Announcements: 2017-2018
Mechanical Engineering Alumni Event
Our department presented the following presentation at the Mechanical Engineering Alumni Event on May 24, 2018.
Pi Tau Sima Induction
Eleven MECH undergraduate students were inducted to Pi Tau Sigma, the National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, in February 2018.
Pi Tau Sigma members with the inductees.
Back Row: Steven Parks ('18), Jamie Ferris ('19), Andrew Torrance ('19), Evan Misuraca ('19), Kayleigh Dobson ('19), Brent Hosoume ('19), Grant Mishler ('18)
Front Row: Corey Brown ('18), Leslie Yang ('18), Riley Albright-Borden ('19), Jonathan Borst ('19), Michael Mehta ('19), Hannah Sisney ('19), PJ McCurdy ('19), Milan Copic ('18)
Not Pictured: Chuck Culberson ('19)
Mission Control on NBC News
Students, staff, and faculty in the Robotic Systems Laboratory (RSL) spent their Thanksgiving vacation working midnight shifts and controlling the newly launched NASA EcAMSat spacecraft, which was ejected from the International Space Station just after midnight on Nov. 20. These activities have included making initial contact with the spacecraft, verifying and characterizing its health, and working with the NASA Ames Research Center team to monitor and retrieve science data relating to the experimental biological payload. The experiment involves assessing the space microgravity effects on the antibiotic resistance of E. coli. The SCU team is using RSL's satellite command and control network, which includes a primary Mission Control Center on the 3rd Floor of Guadalupe Hall as well as several types of satellite communication stations both on the roof of Guadalupe Hall and distributed at partner institutions across the country. Find out more about the mission here.
Dr. Panthea Sepehrband
Congratulations to Dr. Panthea Sepehrband for receiving a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. This $328,975 grant supports Dr. Sepehrband’s research to investigate how ultrasonic bonding occurs at the atomic level. Read the story here.
News & Announcements: 2016-2017
Senior Design Open House
Open House for senior design projects is Wednesday, June 7th in the Engineering Quad from 4:00 to 5:30 pm. Come and see what our seniors have been working on for the past year!
Leavey School of Business Global Fellows
Congratulations to our undergraduate MECH students Sydney Thompson '19 and Steven Parks '18 selected as Leavey School of Business Global Fellows: https://www.scu.edu/business/undergraduates/community/global-fellows/.
- Sydney plans to serve underprivileged children, youth and women in the rural areas of Ghana through social enterprise and education; Steven plans to enhance the study of energy economics to support national policies and the utilization of energy resources in Indonesia. See a list of 2017 Global Fellows here: https://www.scu.edu/business/undergraduates/community/global-fellows/2017-fellows/.
Winter Seminar 2017
- Mechanical Engineering Seminar: Tung Lam will present a seminar “Thermal Engineering For Space Applications” on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. The seminar abstract and speaker biography can be found here: Seminar Tung Lam
- Mechanical Engineering Seminar: Michael Plesniak will present a seminar “Human Phonation: Fluid Dynamics of Speech Production” on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. The seminar abstract and speaker biography can be found here: Michael Plesniak
- Mechanical Engineering Seminar: Tianzhen Hong will present a seminar “Building Performance Simulation for Buildings and Communities: Advances and Challenges ” on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. The seminar abstract and speaker biography can be found here: Seminar Tianzhen Hong
- Mechanical Engineering Seminar: Peter Woytowitz will present a seminar “Printing the Next Revolution - Materials, Software and Additive Manufacturing” on Wednesday, February 22, 2017. The seminar abstract and speaker biography can be found here: Seminar Pete Woytowitz
- Mechanical Engineering Seminar: Sean Swei will present a seminar “Some Advances in Aeroelastic Aircraft and Flexible Spacecraft Controls” on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. The seminar abstract and speaker biography can be found here: Seminar Sean Swei
- Mechanical Engineering Seminar: Dr. Christina Ivler will present a seminar “Aircraft and Rotorcraft Flight Control Challenges: An overview of flight control research at the US Army Aviation Development Directorate at NASA Ames” on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. The seminar abstract and speaker biography can be found here: Seminar Christina Ivler- Mechanical Engineering Seminar: Daniel A. Fletcher will present a seminar “Mobile phones as medical devices: Diagnosis of neglected diseases and beyond” on Wednesday, February 1, 2017. The seminar abstract and speaker biography can be found here: Seminar Dan Fletcher
- Mechanical Engineering Seminar: Alex Egeler will present a seminar “Aerion AS2 Supersonic Business Jet: Design and Engineering Overview” on Wednesday, January 25, 2017. The seminar abstract and speaker biography can be found here: Seminar Alex Egeler
- Mechanical Engineering Seminar: Liz Osborne from Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company will present a seminar “Thermal Science for Space featuring the Near Infrared Camera (NIRCam)” on Wednesday, January 18, 2017. Please find the seminar abstract and speaker biography here: Seminar Liz Osborne
- Mechanical Engineering Seminar: Joe Maly and Brad Allen from Moog CSA will present a seminar “Engineering at Moog CSA, Histories and achievements of the past decades” on Wednesday, January 11, 2017. The seminar abstract and speaker biography can be found here: Seminar Maly Allen
New MECH Courses offering in Spring 2017
MECH/AMTH 120 - Engineering Mathematics MECH120 Flyer
MECH 163 - Material Selection and Design
MECH 296A - System Identification MECH296A Flyer
MECH 296B - Optimal Estimation of Dynamic Systems MECH296B Flyer
Pi Tau Sigma Induction
Nine MECH undergraduate students were inducted to Pi Tau Sigma, the National Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, in January 2017.
The Santa Clara Chapter President and Vice-President with the inductees (from left to right): Corey Brown, Duncan Bradley, Milan Copic, Grant Mishler, Jake Ososke (President), David Leonardo, Daniel Eckstein, Kevin Ellis, Leslie Yang, Steven Parks, Emily Takimoto (Vice-President)
Mechanical Engineering Seminar
Mechanical Engineering Seminar: Eliot Fried, Professor at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University, presented a seminar “Finite-time singularity during the collision of two magnetic balls," on November 15, 2016.
In Memory of Dr. Mark Ardema
In Memory of Dr. Mark Ardema: We are saddened to report that Mark Ardema, Professor Emeritus in Mechanical Engineering, has died at the age of 75. A world authority on dynamics, trajectory optimization, singular perturbation theory, game theory and hypersonic aircraft trajectories and structures, he served as department chair from 1986-98, after which he returned to the classroom to teach full-time. Mark retired at the end of 2007, he had served SCU and the department for over 20 years. Letters of condolence may be sent to the Ardema family in care of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Tiny House Wins Big!
SCU's rEvolve House team was named the champion of the inaugural Tiny House Competition in Sacramento! Santa Clara led the competition throughout the week in measured contests and on the final day of competition, they won six of the twenty sub-categories (day lighting, integrated lighting, interior design, best kitchen, best program, and best tour) and two of the four main categories (energy and communications).
Congratulations to faculty team leader Professor Tim Hight, student project leader JJ Galvin and the entire undergraduate team. Their hard work and dedication to this project over the past two years has been inspirational and a great credit to our beloved Papa Reites. He would be so very proud, as we all are.
Read more about the team's journey and news here:
Seniors Won 2nd Place in Best Paper Contest at IEEE GHTC Conference
An interdisciplinary team of mechanical engineering and bioengineering seniors has won the second place in the Best Student Paper Contest for "Quantification of a Latex Aggluntination Assay for Bacterial Pathogen Detection in a Low-Cost Capillary-Driven Fluidic Platform" at the IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC 2016), Oct. 13-16 in Seattle, WA.
Congratulations to seniors Kyle Pietrzyk, Andy Ly, Andres Maldonado-Liu (mechanical engineering), Scott Fukuoka (bioengineering), and the faculty advisors Professor On Shun Pak (mechanical engineering) and Professor Unyoung Kim (bioengineering).
Chris Kitts and his team awarded NASA Group Achievement Award
Mechanical engineering faculty Professor Christopher Kitts, research associate Mike Rasay, and the Robotics Systems Lab student satellite mission control team are co-recipients of a NASA Group Achievement Award for their contributions to the Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks (EDSN) multi-satellite mission. SCU students, staff, and faculty were involved with mission analysis and engineering for the development of the 8-satellite EDSN mission for several years. The EDSN satellites launched in November 2015 and unfortunately were lost during a launch vehicle mishap. Two of the EDSN back-up satellites, however, were launched in 2016 and have successfully demonstrated several EDSN mission objectives. These two satellites are still being controlled by SCU students via the satellite mission control center in Guadalupe Hall.
Mohammad Ayoubi named an ASME Fellow
Professor Mohammad Ayoubi (mechanical engineering) has been named an ASME Fellow in recognition of his significant engineering achievements in dynamics and control of aerospace vehicles, curriculum development, and service to his professional society. Nominated by ASME members and fellows, an ASME member has to have 10 or more years of active practice, at least 10 years of active corporate membership in ASME, and have significant achievements in the field of engineering, according to the ASME website. This achievement is reserved for only 2.8% of ASME's 140,000 members.
With this honor, Ayoubi joins fellow mechanical engineering faculty who have been honored by ASME: Fellows Christopher Kitts and Godfrey Mungal, as well as Honorary Member Terry Shoup.